The crises of the international political system: towards a new world (dis)order?

“Media coverage of the massacre of Khan Sheikhoun” – in which last Tuesday morning more than 80 people died, including 28 children – “could point to a change in the foreign politics of the United States, that until now allowed the same groups that they armed to be defeated by (Syrian President) Assad”. It's 12am on Thursday 6th April, and the prediction of Professor Aldo Ferrari – Ca’ Foscari scholar and director of ISPI's (Institute for International and Political Studies) research team on Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia – is about to come true: on the night of the 6th April, President Donald Trump gave the order to bomb the Syrian base, responsible for the incident, with 59 Tomahawk missiles, a turning point in the last six years of war in Syria.

This is only one of the numerous crises that is shaking the international political system, and that will be discussed by geo-politicians, economists and academic experts during the conference “The crisis and crises of the international political system”, that will take place Thursday 13th April from 10am at Ca’ Dolfin, in the Aula Magna Silvio Trentin. The conference, organized by Ca’ Foscari and ISPI, aims to put together two approaches that until today have remained substantially separate in the national field: one is the historic-cultural study taught in universities, the other is the political study practiced by the main institutions of international studies.

“To understand the new balances of the international political system it is necessary to unite these two aspects” Ferrari says. “The dream of uni-polarism, of a world dominated by the western authority of the United States, risen since the end of the USSR, is definitively fading. We’re moving towards a multi-polar balance, in which countries such as China, Russia and India will share the zones of influence with the United States. The same cannot be said for the European Union, that is committing suicide.”

This is a scenario which is accompanied by the failure of all super-national organisms (UN, NATO) that have failed to confront the international crises, and of some fundamental values of Western civilization, primarily democracy. “We shouldn't fool ourselves: the idea that a country cannot reach wellbeing without democracy is fading” explains Ferrari. “Just look at China, that is becoming the most important country in the world without democracy.”

“What is important to understand” – Ferrari continues - “is that wars of today are fundamentally propaganda wars. All the commentators analyse the facts coming from a predefined idea, that is unvariably reconfirmed at the end of their enquiry, but how the facts have really developed remains uncertain.” Also in the case of the massacre of children in Syria, two diverging versions were provided, to which the media aligned: one version sees the western governments firmly blaming Assad and, as a result, Russia, whilst the other reports the explosion of a storage of chemical arms possessed by the ‘rebels’. “As far as I’m concerned” – comments Ferrari – “I think that it would have been stupid for Assad and Putin to risk so much, since up until yesterday they were winning the war against the rebels. I don’t think that this is what happened.”